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Is Utah Water Hard? Do I Need a Water Softener?

Is Utah Water Hard? Do I Need a Water Softener?

Unless you’ve researched Utah’s water hardness, you might not realize that Utah’s water is considered “really hard.”Water is considered hard when it has a high mineral content. So, how does Utah’s water have such a high mineral content?

Rainfall (soft water) makes its way through Utah’s rocks, rivers, and streams. It picks up minerals along the way before eventually making it into your home’s water sources.Salt Lake City gets most of its water from the rivers and lakes in the surrounding mountains, so it’s not hard to imagine how easily the water becomes “really hard” as it makes its way down the canyons. 

Residents of Salt Lake Valley who don’t use a water softener system have grown used to dry skin, dry hair, spotty dishes, wear and tear on their home’s plumbing, and damaged appliances. 

Whether you’ve grown accustomed to SLC’s hard water because you’ve lived in the Salt Lake area your whole life or you’re considering moving to the Salt Lake Valley, it’s best to be informed about something as essential as your home’s water. Here’s what you need to know about Utah’s water hardness: 

How Hard Is Salt Lake City’s Water?

Water hardness is measured in grains per gallon of water (known as gpg). Here’s a water hardness scale to get a clearer picture of Salt Lake City’s water hardness levels: 

  • Anything less than 1 grain per gallon is considered soft 
  • Slightly hard: 1 - 3.5 grains per gallon
  • Moderately hard: 3.5 - 7 grains per gallon
  • Hard: 7 - 10 grains per gallon
  • Very hard: anything over 10 grains per gallon


According to Beehive Plumbing, a popular plumbing company that services all of Salt Lake Valley, Salt Lake City’s water hardness is around 13 grains per gallon. This number indicates that Salt Lake Valley’s water is considered really hard. 

A study from the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Project also found that the water in the Salt Lake Valley is considered “really hard.”

Do I Need a Water Softener in Salt Lake City, Utah? 

While Utah’s water is consideredreally hard,purchasing a water softener is not absolutely necessary because hard water doesn’t pose a threat to your health. 

The Salt Lake City Public Utilities website says, “Your tap water is safe to drink. Salt Lake City drinking water complies with or exceeds all EPA requirements. More than 60 percent of our water starts in mountain streams from our nearby Wasatch canyons. In the summer months, we supplement water flow with deep wells from throughout the Salt Lake Valley. Well water meets all drinking water standards, though it is ‘harder,’ with more minerals than source water.” 

So, why would you get a water softener if hard water won’t harm you? Hard water could very well harm your home’s plumbing and appliances. While many people opt for a whole-home water softener system for those reasons alone, installing a water softener will also leave your hair and skin feeling healthier and moisturized. Your dishes won’t be spotty anymore, and your water will taste better. Should we keep going? 

If you’ve lived in the Salt Lake area your entire life, try investing in a whole-home water softener system to see the difference it makes. Salt Lake City is notorious for hard water — don’t let it affect your home. 

Other Areas of the Country with “Really Hard” Water

If you’re surprised by Salt Lake Valley’s “really hard” water hardness levels, you might be shocked to learn that 85 percent of the country has hard water. 

When looking at the United States Geological Survey’s water hardness map, you’ll notice that a majority of the country’s hard water is found in California, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Texas, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arizona. 

According to KTNV, the top six metro areas with the hardest water are Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Phoenix, San Antonio, and Tampa. 

When looking at the map above, you should get a water softener if you live anywhere in the red zone.While it’s beneficial to have a water softener in your home no matter where you live, water with higher mineral content is more likely to cause damage to your home and dry out your skin and hair. 

If you’re looking for a solution that will soften your water in Utah, Las Vegas, California, and beyond — many homeowners recommend purchasing a whole-home water softener that will soften your home’s water with one swing. 

Filter Smart’s salt-free water softeners are environmentally friendly, don’t require electricity, and have up to 99% scale reduction. The reusable tank is guaranteed for life and maintenance is simple, making it easier than ever to have soft water in your home when you live in a place with “really hard” water.  

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